FORUM-ASIA demands India to immediately end unofficial blockade of Nepal (petition)

The South Asian chapter of FORUM-ASIA’s human rights defenders, who assembled in Kathmandu on 5th November 2015 to partake in South Asia members meet, expressed their utmost anger towards India’s response to Nepal and her people after the adoption of newly adopted constitution. During their meeting with Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, South Asian HRDs strongly condemned this inhuman act of Indian authorities that violates basic humanitarian values and ethos.

India has imposed an unofficial blockade along Indo-Nepal border halting the supply of goods and services, including such essential goods as cooking gas, petrol, diesel and basic medicines. This act of India has added badly to Nepal’s suffering from the devastating earthquake and its aftershocks last April and May. The blockade of the transport of construction materials and industrial inputs has brought post-earthquake reconstruction to a complete standstill.

The unofficial blockade violates several treaties between India and Nepal as well as UN Convention on Laws of the Sea. The delay in lifting the blockade will be only to the detriment of India. As such, we urge Indian authorities to immediately lift the blockade and be part of Nepal’s post conflict transition and development as is expected of any friendly neighbour.

At this difficult time, human rights defenders from South Asia reiterate their commitment to stand by the people of Nepal. We also like to draw the attention of the international community to the need for an immediate action, both humanitarian and diplomatic, to ease the crisis facing the people of Nepal. Any further delay is likely to be very costly.

The new Nepali constitution, which received overwhelming support and acceptance from all across the country contains 33 articles devoted to fundamental rights. The constitution provides for special measures for the marginalized communities, embraces the. principles of republicanism, federalism, secularism and inclusiveness. It ensures political representation of all groups, including traditionally marginalized communities, such as indigenous communities and Dalits. It guarantees 33 percent political representation of women in all political structures, including in federal and national parliaments. The South Asian HRDs welcome the new constitution adopted by Nepal’s Constituent Assembly on 20th of September 2015.

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